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Look-Ahead Speed on Garmin GPSMAP 7212 displays

How To Double Down on Radar

Our Regal 46 Sport Coup test boat was outfitted with a couple of Garmin ( GPSMAP 7212 displays (suggested retail: $4,999.99 each) and while playing with the radar function on one I came across an unfamiliar feature: Look-Ahead Speed. “A very useful thing,” said Regal’s onboard rep Frank Stoeber. And here, à la Stoeber (but in my own words), is how it works:

Look-Ahead Speed on Garmin GPSMAP 7212 displays

Let’s say you’re underway, doing 30 knots, and you want to stretch your radar’s view ahead but not necessarily by switching to a less sensitive, higher range setting. You simply punch your approximate velocity into the Look-Ahead Speed menu and the feature automatically shifts your ship’s position from the center of your radar screen towards the bottom when that speed is achieved (the distance of shift is about 70 percent of the distance from the screen’s center to its bottom edge) and simultaneously makes internal adjustments to extend sensitivity and range ahead while diminishing these parameters astern. The result is that you see more of what’s in front of you, albeit while also losing some radar performance aft.

Here’s another nifty (and safety-enhancing) usage as well. At slow speeds, in conditions of restricted visibility, with two 7212s installed at the helm (as is typical with Regal), an operator can opt for the Look-Ahead Speed feature on one screen and a conventional, higher-range view on the other. This gives both a highly sensitive close-up picture of what’s ahead in addition to a longer-range (but less sensitive) picture. Cool!

Return to Capt. Bill Pike's boat test of the Regal 46 Sport Coup ➤

This article originally appeared in the December 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.